A Perfect Partner: DC WeatherFest Coalition Uses 'Common Thread' to Link Multiple Institutions in Exploring Weather, Water and Climate

The DC Weatherams eventFest Coalition is a partnership of government, scientific societies, private enterprise, and institutions in education which focuses on serving as an important resource for information on weather, water, and climate, and how these impact our lives.
Recognized as a "Perfect Festival Partner" for its noted efforts in the event, the Coalition is especially cited by the Festival for assembling an impressive array of exhibits -- including those by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Meteorological Society -- all under the common theme, or strand, of atmospheric and oceanic science. This "common thread" concept is a great way not only to add depth and excitement to exhibits and presentations, but also to allow Expo visitors to explore related topics from different perspectives.

Using this approach to examining the wonders and mystery of weather, water and climate certainly adds intrigue and excitement to the many hands-on exhibits sponsored by DC WeatherFest Coalition partners, says Elizabeth Mills, a Coalition representative who serves as Associate Director, Education Programs at the American Meteorological Society.

For example, she says, "visitors in one area of our exhibits can be interviewed on camera, in another explore a weather station, and in others learn about the latest in weather research," and in other exhibits, "they can see, first-hand, the instrumentation used in the ocean and understand the way climate is changing, or watch their kids being entertained by the WeatherBug mascot."


Ron Gird, NOAA National Weather Service Outreach Program Manager adds, "Visitors will take away knowledge of how to access critical weather, water and climate information to protect lives and property. Information on careers and educational opportunities will also be available."

Organizations with exhibits in the WeatherFest Coalition include: the American Meteorological Society (with AWS WeatherBug, WJLA-TV, and News Channel 8); Alliance for Climate Education; American Geophysical Union; American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Weather Service; George Mason University; and National Earth Science Teachers Association.

The DC WeatherFest Coalition is also represented by organizations and institutions on its Festival Executive Committee (many which will have volunteers at booth areas). These include: CSC, Federal Aviation Administration - NextGen Integration & Implementation; Howard University; HowThe WeatherWorks; ITT; Johns Hopkins University; Lockheed Martin; NASA; Noblis; Raytheon, and the University of Maryland.

We have noticed that Festival partners, in addition to the DC WeatherFest Coalition, have also made use of use of the "common thread" concept in their exhibits, such as the "Evolution Thought Trail" in its exhibits covering evolution. If your institution or organization would like to sponsor a "common thread" track for the Expo, or if you have ideas for a track, please email the festival.

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